Taking Action
And Addressing Issues

Proven leadership to tackle Oregon's most pressing problems

2021 Legislative Session

In a year that pushed Oregonians to their limits, legislators, myself included, pushed ourselves to ensure we did everything we could to help those hurt by the pandemic to get back on their feet and to work to build an Oregon that represents us all.

Together, we were able to do just that. As a State Representative I was proud to work on legislation that addressed climate solutions, access to healthcare, education, and racial justice - just a few of these policies included:

Cover All People

Earned Income Tax Credit Expansion

Addressing Racial Disparities in Housing

Civics Education in Public Schools

Providing materials and assistance to eligible employees concerning public service loan forgiveness program

Housing Status in Death Reporting of Houseless Oregonians

100% Clean Energy

Healthy Homes

 

Education

I will fight for a high-quality, public education system where every student has the opportunity to succeed and to feel safe no matter their race, gender identity, immigration status, sexual orientation, the language they speak, or family income. 

We need to do better for the students who need a caring, engaging, fully funded learning environment and for the public servants who protect, educate, and inspire the next generation of Oregonians.

Our educators deserve competitive salaries. No teacher should be making poverty-level wages, and be forced to live outside their school district to afford teaching there.

I will stand for our underserved students. To put the failure of equity in educational outcomes on our public education system — or worse, our public educators — is shameful and ignores the responsibility that federal, state, and local policies have played in creating this inequitable system in the first place.

 

We need investments in more support staff, before and after-school programming, and decreasing class sizes. We need investment in universal Pre-K. We need continued revenue funding streams for these issues, and I will make it a priority in my first term to get a bill funded by tax increases on the largest corporations to the floor of the House in order to do just that. While the passage of the Student Success Act provides critical revenue to our schools, it does not reverse decades of disinvestment. We cannot wait for more time to pass by to make further investment in our schools while students, teachers, and our community-at-large struggle to bridge the gaps resulting from insufficient funding. I will also work to invest in comprehensive mental health support for students and staff, because learning together requires being well together. The pandemic has taught us that prioritizing social-emotional health is necessary for our students, teachers, and even parents to be successful in our daily lives.

Housing

I will fight to make sure Oregonians can count on investments in affordable housing so that regardless of whether you live high in the hills, or in an apartment, you have a safe and comfortable place to live. 

As someone who has worked in social services, I have directly seen the ramifications of an unjust system. I have seen the brutality of the housing market and what it does to our community. ​

As the Vice-Chair of the Housing Committee, I have been involved in the various efforts to protect both our renters and homeowners through eviction and foreclosure moratoriums, and the distribution of millions of dollars in direct financial assistance for housing. As much work as the state has done around addressing the challenges Oregon is facing with its housing crisis, it’s still not enough and the pandemic has shown the cracks in our infrastructure when it comes to emergencies — I will work to find solutions and investments so that we may better serve our communities when they need it most. 

We need to address the affordability of housing costs for renters.
The Fair Market Rent (FMR) numbers for 2021 show the ever-increasing cost of living — for example, the FMR for a 2-bedroom unit in the Beaverton/Aloha jurisdiction (SD 18) is $1,536. For a single-income household receiving minimum wage, these numbers can be devastating when families are expected to pay upwards of 75% of their income.

 

We need to examine creative solutions for affordable homeownership including Community Land Trust Models, modular homes, and addressing barriers to affordable housing production.

The housing crisis has hit Oregon statewide and the Beaverton School District itself has consistently had the highest number of students experiencing houselessness in the entire state. We cannot expect children to excel academically if they lack housing, adequate food, family supports, language acquisition programs, and other basic needs. I will continue the work to invest in wraparound services and humane policies that treat our houseless population with care and empathy.
 

I will fight to make sure Oregonians can count on investments in affordable housing so that regardless of whether you live high in the hills, or in an apartment, you have a safe and comfortable place to live. 

As the Case Manager for Family Promise of Beaverton, a transitional housing program, I see the ramifications of an unjust system every day. I see the brutality of the housing market and what it does to our community. I am in favor of statewide rent control. I am in favor of legislation that protects renters. I would be a strong advocate for fully eliminating no-cause evictions in Oregon. 

I will be a champion for raising the minimum wage to a living wage, as increases in the minimum wage have not matched the rising cost of living. The Fair Market Rent (FMR) numbers for 2020 show the ever-increasing cost of living - for example, the FMR for a 2-bedroom in 2020 - in the Beaverton/Aloha jurisdiction (HD 28) is $1,495. For a single-income household receiving minimum wage - these numbers can be devastating when families are expected to pay upwards of 75% of their income.

The housing crisis has hit Oregon statewide and the Beaverton School District itself has consistently had the highest number of students experiencing houselessness in the whole state of Oregon. We cannot expect children to excel academically if they lack housing, adequate food, family supports, language acquisition programs, and other basic needs.

Transportation

I will fight for holistic transportation solutions that improve quality of life and the environment. That means well-lit TriMet stops, accessible public transportation, more sidewalks on roads that need them — all with a goal of reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions. 

I believe we need to pivot our transportation planning away from building more highways and freeways to a model that incentivizes public transportation, car-free zones, and alternative modes of transportation like walking and biking. I believe in having a publically-funded TriMet system with expanded rail options and a Bus Rapid Transit System that would improve access for people like the families I work with. Free public transportation benefits those looking for better ways to get around and moves the ball forward in terms of sustainable growth models that reduce harmful environmental impacts. 

Healthcare

I will fight for a healthcare system that serves everybody, so that families aren’t afraid of getting a bill for the care that they desperately need to be healthy. I firmly believe that healthcare should be treated as a right, not a private commodity or a privilege, because everyone should have access to holistic healthcare benefits.

I will support legislation for prescription drug price controls. People should not have to pay exorbitant prices for medication that they need to survive. I would also support firm price limits on specific lifesaving medications, like insulin.

I also believe that people should have access to the full range of reproductive healthcare, regardless of race, immigration status, gender, zip code, or incarceration.

Nobody should go without the security that healthcare provides.

COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the need for investment in our public health system, in healthcare workers, and in funding for mental health resources.

 

The pandemic has also brought the childcare crisis to the forefront and I look forward to continuing the work to expand access to affordable childcare and to make investments in the childcare workforce — in the 2021 legislative session I was proud to support HB 3073, which seeks to ease the burden on parents by consolidating early learning services into a single entity and declaring the child care shortage an emergency. 

 

The pandemic has also presented many challenges to our small businesses. I will work to find solutions for a path to recovery and workforce viability that stimulates growth in our different sectors.

 

As we work to move forward from COVID-19, we need to ensure we are making the investments we need to get through this pandemic together and equitably.

Climate Change

We cannot continue to rely on fossil fuels and carbon emissions to power our economy. Oregon must pass a Green New Deal to ensure we transition to a sustainable green economy that protects our environment and generates living wage jobs.

I will work to ensure that we are making climate change a priority, and that my colleagues understand climate change is a public health crisis — and that without action we will condemn marginalized communities, most of whom are low-income or communities of color, to greater health risks and a lesser quality of life.

I am in favor of massive investment into public infrastructure that will decarbonize our economy and pay high wages to the workers who build it. Climate change is an opportunity to bring new sectors into the labor community.

Climate change is a top priority, and discussions about nearly every issue must include an environmental aspect. From transportation, housing, and economic development, to issues of public health and education, we need to focus on how we can shift to sustainable models that will create a clean and emission-free future.

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